I've been spending some time in the studio making chain. I decided to capture a bit of the process so you can see behind the scenes.
I've been using red brass, copper, and sterling silver. Here's a spool of red brass (aka "jeweler's gold" because it looks like gold without the price tag).
My sterling silver wire is in a much bigger loop, I buy it by the foot instead of by the spool.
The first step is to coil the wire around something. I went to the hardware store and bought several sizes of wooden dowel. I attached a section of dowel to my bench vice and wound the wire around it.
Then I got out my jeweler's saw to saw through the coil. What you don't see in the photo is me holding onto that spiral with my other hand to keep it steady.
This is what the cut pieces look like.
You can see the little gaps from where the saw went through the spiral. I take my pliers and bend the circles tight together at that joint. Then they go on my soldering station to close the gap permanently. These are what they look like after soldering.
I take the rings and begin to link them together, soldering each connector link along the way.
After I assemble all of the links, I polish them. Look at the difference! The links in the front are unpolished red brass - they're the same metal as the large, yellow links you see in the polished chain. The smaller links are sterling silver.
And, finally, I'm modeling the finished piece. (CLICK HERE to see the necklace for sale on my website.)